Monthly Archives: August 2017

Waterbird Count – 30 August

Exciting morning at the waterbird count! It looks like ducks may be starting to move. Had several groups of ducks too far out in the haze to identify, but did have the first Northern Shoveler of the season hanging out closer to shore for a while. Large groups of Red-necked Grebes were loafing on the water throughout the morning, and some smaller groups of Horned Grebes were mixed in (another first for the fall!). Things quieted down into the afternoon as it started to drizzle.
Excited to see things starting to pick up, and hoping that tomorrow will bring better visibility and more duck movement.
Canada Goose – 22
Mallard – 7
Northern Shoveler – 1
Redhead – 2
Hooded Merganser – 2
Duck sp – 16
Common Loon – 1
Horned Grebe – 23
Red-necked Grebe – 33
Double-crested Cormorant – 33
Great Egret – 2
Ring-billed Gull – 220
Herring Gull – 20
Other species:
Turkey Vulture – 1
Bald Eagle – 1
Spotted Sandpiper – 1
Red-eyed Vireo – 15
Black-capped Chickadee – 5
Monarch Butterfly – 2

Waterbird Count – 29 August

The weather started out cloudy and hazy this morning, and turned into rain by the end of the count. Yesterday’s geese and Red-eyed Vireos are still hanging around the count site today, and interestingly Red-necked Grebes were back in good numbers today after a few days of absence. A steady stream of monarchs came across the straits throughout much of the morning until the rain started, which surprised me given the cloudy cool weather.
Canada Goose – 38
Common Loon – 2
Red-necked Grebe – 26
Double-crested Cormorant – 19
Great Blue Heron – 1
Ring-billed Gull – 2
Herring Gull – 26
other species:
Sharp-shinned Hawk – 1
Bald Eagle – 1
Spotted Sandpiper – 1
Mourning Dove – 2
Red-eyed Vireo – 25
Black-capped Chickadee – 5
Monarch Butterfly – 38

Waterbird Count – August 28th

Mostly cormorants again today at McGulpin Point. Red-necked Grebes seem to be gone almost entirely – I didn’t see any again today. The Hooded Mergansers and Canada Geese from the past few days are still hanging around near the beach. Two Sandhill Cranes came over from the UP this afternoon, and about twenty Red-necked Vireos were foraging in the apple trees by the parking lot throughout much of the morning.
Canada Goose – 15
Hooded Merganser – 3
Double-crested Cormorant – 34
Great Blue Heron – 1
Ring-billed Gull – 2
Herring Gull – 4
Other species:
Turkey Vulture – 1
Bald Eagle – 1
Sandhill Crane – 2
Belted Kingfisher – 1
Red-eyes Vireo – 20
Black-capped Chickadee – 3
Monarch Butterfly – 9

Waterbird Count – 27 August

Cloudy, quiet day at McGulpin Point today. Several groups of Double-crested Cormorants were starting to migrate through, and yesterday’s Canada Geese were back today in greater numbers. Not many monarchs or hawks were coming over in the cloudy weather.

Canada Goose – 26

Mallard – 7

Hooded Merganser – 2

Red-breasted Merganser – 1

Common Loon – 1

Double-crested Cormorant – 64

Great Blue Heron – 1

Ring-billed Gull – 2

Herring Gull – 15

 

Belted Kingfisher – 1

American Crow – 1

Spotted Sandpiper – 2

Monarch Butterfly – 1

Osprey – 1

Waterbird Count – 26 August

Exciting day at the waterbird count today! Had some good diversity and several new species for the season today. Darrell Lawson joined me for a few hours, and we had some Mute Swans and the first Redhead of the season come by. Shortly after he left I had a group of around 40 ducks on the horizon, which is the first migrating group that I’ve seen. In the afternoon I had a few raptors starting to come over,  and a few passerines hanging around the camp site.

 

Canada Goose – 11

Mute Swan – 2

Redhead – 1

Hooded Merganser – 4

duck sp – 40

Common Loon – 4

Red-necked Grebe – 1

Double-crested Cormorant – 34

Ring-billed Gull – 1

Herring Gull – 49

 

other species:

Turkey Vulture – 4

Sharp-shinned Hawk – 1

Bald Eagle – 3

Merlin – 1

Red-eyed Vireo – 4

Blue Jay – 3

American Crow – 4

Monarch Butterfly – 2

Waterbird Count – 25 August

Beautiful weather today, but the straits were pretty quiet. Had a group of dabbling ducks fly by early, but it was mostly cormorants for the rest of the day. Some are starting to group up, as if they’re getting ready to migrate. Interestingly, there were very few Red-necked Grebes today compared to what there’s been over the past few days.

 

Hooded Merganser – 4

Red-breasted Merganser – 11

Common Loon – 1

Red-necked Grebe – 10

Double-crested Cormorant – 45

Great Blue Heron – 1

Great Egret – 1

dabbling duck sp – 13

Ring-billed Gull – 1

Herring Gull – 60

 

Other species:

Spotted Sandpiper – 1

Bald Eagle – 2

Belted Kingfisher – 2

American Crow – 3

 

Waterbird Count – 24 August

Things were starting to heat up at the waterbird count today! We had gorgeous weather, and finally had a little bit of duck movement with a handful of mallards and a group of scoters. Unfortunately they were too far into the heat shimmer to tell if they were White-wings or Surf, but they appeared to be White-wings based on flight style. Also had a good number of monarchs coming across the lake throughout the day after it warmed up in the morning, which was nice to see.

Mallard – 3

Hooded Merganser – 6

Common Loon – 1

Red-necked Grebe – 75

Double-crested Cormorant – 24

scoter sp. – 6

Ring-billed Gull – 3

Herring Gull – 33

 

other species:

Turkey Vulture – 1

American Crow – 3

Monarch Butterfly – 16

 

Waterbird Count – 23 August

Another windy day today with very little moving. A handful of Red-necked Grebes were foraging throughout the morning, and I had more Ring-billed Gulls than I’ve seen so far this week. We’re keeping track of Monarch Butterfly migration throughout this season, and while few seemed to be crossing today in the wind, Steve Baker noted several groups forming at Point LeBarbe across the lake during the hawk watch this morning. Wind is supposed to die down tomorrow, so I’ll be looking for any groups that make it across in the morning.

Common Loon – 2

Red-necked Grebe – 33

Double-crested Cormorant – 22

Ring-billed Gull – 8

Herring Gull – 12

duck sp – 1

 

Monarch Butterfly – 1

Bald Eagle – 3

American Crow – 2

Waterbird Count, August 21 & 22

Pretty quiet couple of days with hazy weather for the waterbird count. Visibility was between 1-2 miles all day on the 21st, and we saw little of note besides high numbers of Herring Gulls loafing an foraging throughout the day. A pair of Blue-winged Teal and a group of Hooded Mergansers were foraging near the count site throughout the day, but no ducks seem to be moving yet. The 22nd brought rain and wind with an accompanying cold front, so things may start picking up tomorrow. More Red-necked Grebes moving today than the past couple of days, but with the poor visibility that was most of the excitement for the day.

August 21

Blue-winged Teal – 4

Hooded Merganser – 15

duck sp – 2

Common Loon – 2

Red-necked Grebe – 86

Double-crested Cormorant – 52

Great Blue Heron – 2

Ring-billed Gull – 13

Herring Gull – 393

gull sp – 7

 

 

Other species of note:

Sharp-shinned Hawk – 1

Bald Eagle – 2

Belted Kingfisher – 1

Merlin – 1

Monarch Butterfly – 2

 

August 22

Hooded Merganser – 14

Common Loon – 4

Red-necked Grebe – 132

Double-crested Cormorant – 49

Ring-billed Gull – 1

Herring Gull – 28

 

Other species of note:

Bald Eagle – 1

Monarch Butterfly – 1

First Waterbird Count of the Fall – 20 August

Hi folks! My name is Aspen, and I’m honored to be the waterbird counter for MSRW’s fall season.

 

The season started out with a pretty slow day today, and beautiful clear weather. Ed Pike and I counted from McGulpin Point starting at sunrise, and primarily had Double-crested Cormorants and Red-necked Grebes moving through the straits and foraging. Not too many birds seem to be migrating yet.

 

Hooded Merganser – 2

duck sp – 2

Common Loon – 2

Red-necked Grebe – 67

Double-crested Cormorant – 144

Great Egret – 1

Ring-billed Gull – 1

Herring Gull – 52

gull sp – 2

Caspian Tern – 1

 

 

Other species:

Spotted Sandpiper – 1

Bald Eagle – 1

Merlin – 2

Monarch Butterfly – 3